By Stephen D. Jett, Ph.D.
AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow
Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology
National Cancer Institute
In 2016, the Cancer MoonshotSM was announced with the intent to accelerate progress in cancer research and speed the transition from laboratory discovery to therapeutics. A Blue Ribbon Panel was established, which made twelve recommendations to accomplish this task; one of the recommendations was the creation of a National Cancer Data Ecosystem to collect and share diverse data types and tools among all stakeholders in the cancer research community.
To support the National Cancer Data Ecosystem, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) initiated a series of projects to create the NCI Cancer Research Data Commons (CRDC), a set of interconnected resources in a cloud environment that provide access to both cancer-related data and to computing capabilities to analyze those data.
As part of those efforts, NCI is initiating the development of an Imaging Data Commons (IDC) supported by funding provided through the Cancer Moonshot. Imaging plays a pivotal role in studying cancer, from diagnosis to fundamental research. Like the NCI Genomic Data Commons (GDC) and Proteomic Data Commons (PDC), the IDC will be a data node, a domain-specific repository, in the CRDC.
The development of an IDC that best meets the needs of the cancer research community depends on members of that community providing their input and guidance. To that end, in April 2018, NCI issued a Request for Information asking the public for their ideas and suggestions regarding essential components of an IDC. Thirty respondents, from individual researchers to vendors, replied, and their input helped craft the IDC Request for Proposals (RFP). Concerns included: the importance of data standards and models for imaging, availability of curated data collections for Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning/Deep Learning training, and the need for continued input from the community for guidance and governance.
The IDC RFP is now open and interested parties may submit their proposals to Leidos Biomedical Research.
There are three important dates related to the RFP to keep in mind:
- Tuesday, December 11, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. ET is the deadline to submit questions to Nick D’Abbraccio (nick.d’email@example.com), in advance of the Pre-proposal Bidders’ Teleconference.
- Tuesday, December 18, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. ET is the proposed date and time of the Pre-proposal Bidders’ Teleconference.
- Thursday, January 31, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. ET is the deadline for proposal submission.
Any questions should be directed to Nick D’Abbraccio (nick.d’firstname.lastname@example.org).